Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Credits: Twitter @toisports

Indian star Prajnesh Gunneswaran regained the India number one spot with a dominant straight sets win over Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Popko, carrying him into the Orlando Open semifinals on Friday. The fourth seeded Indian won 6-0, 6-3 against the sixth seeded Kazakh in the quarterfinals of the $52,080 hard court tournament.

Gunneswaran handed his opponent a bagel in the opening set; serving fast and moving well around the court. He was a break down in the next set but bounced back and won consecutive games to win the set and match. This win will take Prajnesh, who is ranked 137th this week, to at least to 133 in the ATP singles chart even if he does not make the final.

This will push Sumit Nagal to number two as he is placed 136 this week and has not played in the last two weeks. Prajnesh had reached the final of the Cary Challenger last week and has carried his good form into this event.

His opponent, Popko was off colour as his erratic serve and ground strokes made Prajnesh’s job very easy.

Earlier in the tournament, Ramkumar Ramanathan had made a first round exit after losing 3-6, 4-6 to local lucky loser Nick Chappell. It was his second consecutive first-round defeat after finishing runner-up at the Eckental Challenger.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran will face American Christopher Eubanks in the semi-finals. Eubanks defeated Cary Challenger winner Denis Kudla in the quarter-final.